Sunday Salon

A few weeks ago for the first time I took part in The Sunday Salon hosted by Deb Nance at Readerbuzz. So far it’s been a huge success and I hope to make it a regular feature. So here’s another post. 

Last week I finished Alexander Münninghoff’s 2020 family memoir The Son and Heir. I’m happy to report I was able to apply it to a number of reading challenges including the European Reading Challenge and the Books in Translation Challenge. With the European Reading Challenge in mind I started two additional books, one fiction and the other nonfiction. Ruta Sepetys’s 2022 historical novel I Must Betray You is quickly shaping to be one this year’s best works of fiction. Frank Blaichman’s 2009 Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of World War II is a rare first-hand account of the life of a Jewish partisan fighting in German-occupied Poland during the Second World War. With my nose currently buried in Ruta Sepetys’s and Blaichman’s books I’ve been neglecting Yasmina Khadra’s The Attack and Heda Margolius Kovály’s Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street. But I hope to get back to them as soon as possible. 

Listening. With the The National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex proceedings (AKA the January 6 Commission) continuing to be televised I once again dived into some of my favorite podcasts for helpful insight and commentary. If you’re looking to follow my lead, start with recent Daily podcast “What the Jan. 6 Hearings Have Revealed So Far” and follow it up with The Bulwark’s episode “Mike Pence Must Testify.” The New Yorker: Politics and More episode “The Bombshell Moments at the Second Week of the January 6th Hearings” with Jane Mayer, Susan B. Glasser, and Evan Osnos serves up the great political insight you’d expect from that fine magazine. The Lincoln Project Podcast “The Second Hearing: The Rats are Leaving the Ship” with is worth it for the title alone. For an end of the week round-up with a panel of great journalists check out an audio version of last Friday’s Washington Week with the podcast episode “Jan. 6 Committee Lays Out Trump’s Efforts to Change 2020 Election Results.” Rounding things out, Molly Jong Fast and Andy Levy on The New Abnormal once again served up insightful and irreverent commentary on the hearings on the episode “Trump Lied, and Pence Could Have Died.” Lastly, for a great interview having absolutely nothing to do with the hearings check out Bulwark regular Tim Miller’s interview with Jamie Kirchick “When Homosexuality Was a National Security Threat” talking about his latest book Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington. I’ve owned a Kindle edition of Kirchick’s earlier book The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age for several years and maybe after hearing this interview I’ll finally read it. 

Watching. Mr. Robot continues to entertain, throwing head-spinning plot twists at me right and left. As I mentioned earlier, I’m knee deep into the January 6 Committee sessions and excited to see more. 

Everything else. With gas so damn expensive I’m trying to avoid driving into town but on Wednesday I traveled to an area winery to discuss a couple of chapters from Stuart Jeffries’s Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School with my impromptu book club. Of course just like last week I once again snuck out early on Friday and joined my buddy the semi-retired sociology professor for beers at a campus watering hole.

12 thoughts on “Sunday Salon

  1. I was surprised at how much I liked Ruth Sepetys’ Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray, and so I eagerly ordered her book, The Fountains of Silence. I’m not sure why, but I never got past the first couple of chapters. I hate ordering books new and then giving them away unread. It’s good to hear how much you are enjoying I Must Betray You.

    Thank you for the links to the podcasts. The hearings are important for America. I do hope that people are tuning in and hearing testimonies from those involved about what happened on that day.


    • I am thoroughly enjoying it! Love it takes place during the waning months of the Communist regime. I would like to explore her other novels. I’m more than happy to promote links to such podcasts. I could not agree with you anymore that yes, these hearings are important to America. They should not only be watched but also promoted and discussed.
      Thanks for hosting Sunday Salon!


  2. Glued to the TV during the 6th January hearings…so glad I found this post.
    I’m not a ‘podcast ‘ listener but these suggestions are exactly what I would like!
    I heard of another one today “Will Be Wild” ( a new 8-part series about the forces that led to the January 6th insurrection and what comes next.) I have no idea of this is any good…have to listen first! So many of my favorite journalists mentioned M.J. Fast, S. Glasser and of course Jane Mayer…I will have a great time checking all your suggestions in this post. Unfortunately…started a 400+ page novel in French today…so first a few chapters Balzac…then to The New Yorker and The Atlantic!


  3. I like the Daily Podcast a lot, but haven’t listened to it much lately. I should get back into it, but since I work at home now I don’t have a commute, which is when I listened to it.

    I agree that I Must Betray You is excellent. I like all of her books.


    • I enjoyed I Must Betray You and now I wanna read the rest of her stuff. Podcasts are great for commutes, especially long ones. Back when I was driving all over working for the US Census Bureau I listed to a lot of podcasts. Great way to learn and stay connected!


  4. I started but didn’t finish The Son and Heir but I may start it again sometime. I have Salt to the Sea & Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys on my list to read.


  5. The Jan. 6 Hearings were once again mind-blowing today. Can the rest of the GOP finally concede they look like corrupt fools still backing the guy? Where do you hail from Maphead? I plan to get to Sepety’s novels – I have not tried her yet.


    • Yes they were! As for me, I’m located in the United States. Specifically, I’m in Oregon in rural Polk County. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Please visit again!


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